92 points | Wine Spectator
This elegant, Zinfandel-driven “field blend” leads with aromas of blueberry and marzipan. A cool granite minerality frames the ever-evolving bouquet, while spicy hints of cinnamon play with notes of mission fig and dark plum compote. The cola-like mouthfeel entwines dark berry flavors and a velvety acidity, creating an opulent structure and long food-savvy finish.
2018 provided an ideal climate allowing time for the grapes to ripen to their optimum flavor structure. The year presented a fairly mild growing season with few heat spikes, inspiring winemakers to push harvest back a few weeks. This longer time on the vine was great for grapes and the mild temperatures kept the fruit from over-ripening. More than an inch of rain fell in early October in many locations, but there was little impact on the quality of the fruit.
Eletto, meaning “the chosen one” pays homage to the heritage old vine vineyards planted over 100 years ago. For this vintage, the winemaker chose three such vineyards to showcase in this spectacular blend. The Uboldi Vineyard, Giovanetti Vineyard, and Anaceleto Vineyard were all planted in the early 1900s by Italian families. It was common for these pioneering farmers to ask for cuttings from neighbors and friends to fill out the vineyard. Over time the block became a traditional Italian “field blend” of over a dozen varieties including Alicante, Petite Sirah and Carignane along with Zinfandel. This field blend, identified as a “Mixed Blacks”, is picked and fermented together having distinct characteristics including more structure and acid than a traditional Zinfandel blend.
The grapes are hand-sorted and undergo a five-day cold soak before fermentation to extract optimal color and flavor. After primary fermentation, the wine is pumped into French oak barrels, 45% new, where it undergoes natural malolactic fermentation, followed by 28 months of aging before blending and bottling.
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